question-mark3aPROVERBS 3:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

Statements you hear in encouragement:
Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.                    If it is God’s will, He will make a way.                                                   You just have to learn how to believe in yourself.                              God has a plan for your life. You just have to keep pressing in until He reveals it to you.
So now what?

Do you place all of your trust in God and believe He will show you the path, or do you strike out on your own and hope it lines up with God’s plan? If you’re waiting for the plan to unfold, what do you do in the meantime? Do you live a life of self-deprecation, belittling every minor and major accomplishment that you achieve, or do you sit idly by, waiting for the next big move to be revealed? The obvious answer for most Christians is simple. Do what you feel led by the Holy Spirit to do and give God all of the glory for all of the positive outcomes.

But how do you react to the negative outcomes?

Everyone makes mistakes. Even those who trust in God. No human is infallible. The Bible is full of imperfect humans. They made mistakes. They learned their lessons well, continued on with their lives—some with dire consequences– and still placed their trust in God. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jonah and King David come quickly to mind. All were great men (and women) of God, but got sidetracked and took their own course of action instead of following God’s plan for their lives. We really don’t know exactly what was going through their minds at their lowest point, except for what the Bible tells us. Self- doubt, self-loathing, and self-justification would all be expected. The Psalms of David probably give us the clearest glimpse into the psyche of a man at his lowest point from a first hand perspective. And yet, like Job, his trust in God remained steadfast. These stories are great reminders that God forgives us no matter how disobedient, or self-serving we may be at times. All of these individuals were either created, or chosen, by God for a particular task and it was abundantly clear to them what that task was.

Still, the question remains, how do we know what God’s plan for our life is, and how do we know if we’re on the right track?

Now we reach the conundrum. How do we trust in God to lead us on the right path, if we are unsure about what we believe? Or, more clearly put, if we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we trust what we believe to be truth, and subsequently, how can we trust in God if we do not trust our own judgment?
Simply saying, “The Bible says it, I believe it,” is almost irresponsible. And yet, that is what we are told to think. This leads to a whole gambit of doctrinal interpretations and to the charismatic leadership who waxes eloquent to promote their particular brand of theology, “guilting” followers into their ideology. What one ‘group’ says is accurate interpretation, another denies completely. How can we learn to trust God in all aspects of our lives, if we are constantly being told that we should not “lean on our own understanding?” In other words, don’t try to understand it, just trust it. You don’t need to think about God, you just need to believe and trust God. But how do you place your trust in someone you don’t know?

It has been said, in a variety of ways, that trusting in God is much like turning on a light in your house. You may not have an intricate knowledge of electricity, but when you flip the switch, you expect the light to come on. If the light doesn’t come on, most people don’t stand in the middle of the room crying out, “What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?” They know that they have lost a connection somewhere. Most people will start to troubleshoot the problem immediately by changing the light bulb. If that doesn’t work, they may get a “how-to” manual and try to fix the problem themselves. They will learn, from the instructions, how to turn their room from darkness to light. The instruction manual was written by a master and they trust that master to give them the direction they need to make things right again. They read and follow the instructions, trusting the writer, using their own abilities, and restore the light. Why is this so much different than trusting God and believing in yourself?

God has given us a set of instructions in the Bible. Yes, we have to trust God. And we have to believe that God will do what He says He will do. The only way to build that trust is to read the instruction manual and practice living the directions. We also have to believe in ourselves. If we don’t trust ourselves, how can we trust anyone else, including God? God will give us the abilities, and the desire, to fulfil our purpose for Him. But you can’t learn from a mentor you’ve never met. You have to spend time with Him. The information in the manual will tell you who He is, what He is like, what He expects, and what the rewards are for working closely with Him. It is like reading someone’s personal diary, detailing his love and heartbreaks, his wonder and disappointments, intimate details of who he really is and how he thinks, and his instruction on how to best become more like him. He gave us a teacher in Jesus, and a tutor (so to speak) in the Holy Spirit. By reading the textbook, listening to the teacher, and calling on the tutor to help us understand the more difficult lessons, we can learn to trust God and believe in the abilities that God has given to us.

We can trust God AND believe (trust) in ourselves.

©  Simply Consider This, 2015.



church1Corinthians 1: 10 – 12
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
I was blessed recently by the addition of Daystar Television to the “free” lineup of antenna stations available in my area. As I perused the programming, I began to realize that nothing has really changed since Paul’s time. Even with all of the information available to us in this modern, techno age, we still cling to whatever teaching tickles our fancy and run in the direction of the “spirit-led wisdom” of whoever agrees with us the most. The more persuasive and dynamic the speaker, the more believable they appear to us to be.
Let’s first take a look at the subject of the Blood Moon.
One teacher from a large church in San Antonio says that the Blood Moons represent the beginning of the tribulation and the rapture of the church. Another teacher, with a worldwide ministry based in Ohio, says that the Blood Moons represent the year of jubilee in which all who are faithful will prosper beyond their wildest dreams. So who is right? If we Christians are to be raptured before the tribulation (immediately following the fourth Blood Moon in 2015) then how can we possibly enjoy the bounty of financial prosperity?
Every weekday morning, a former (and once again restored) tele-evangelist has a variety of guests on his program touting the importance of disaster preparedness. The entire program seems to be a gimmick to sell generators and freeze dried foods. Every Sunday morning a well-known tele-theologian and his wife tell us how our government is turning against the Christian population and ushering in the end of the age. Both men have countless scriptures and news reports to validate their views. The former seems to be appealing to the Christian community to be prepared, while the latter appears to be reaching out to the non-believers in an attempt to bring them into the fold. Both are very dynamic in their approach and knowledgeable in scripture and prophecy, yet they rely on fear to spread the “good news” of the Gospel.
On any given Saturday or Sunday, throughout the world, you can find church doors opened and people worshiping the same God. (In this I mean those who are in keeping with the Christian faith.) The variety of doctrines is almost as numerous as the stars in the sky. Each “Fellowship” feels that they are the only ones who have rightly divided the scriptures and the others have either missed something or added too much.
You can attend a somber, liturgical ceremony, or a raucous and lively worship service with fog and lasers designed to usher you into the throne room of God. You can be a part of a group who holds to the Old Testament dietary laws and Sabbath regulations, believes in Salvation through Jesus Christ, and teaches strongly on the end time prophetical interpretation of Ellen G. White. You can find a group who believes that the New Covenant does away with the Old Testament entirely and adheres strictly to teachings from the New Testament. You can hear teaching that God is all love and no judgment. You can give all you have expecting a 100 fold return. You can look for signs and wonders or perform them yourself (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course) or you can discount the Holy Spirit all together, as being something that was only meant for the early church. In other words, nothing has changed since Paul’s time.
Even after this letter to the Corinthians, the church suffered divisions in teachings with the rise of the Gnostics and the teachings of Marcion. In the late second century, a consensus was reached concerning the teachings and the Canon of scripture. This brought us the term “catholic” which means “according to the whole” so that all people who held to the group doctrine could be included, and to dispel the heretical teachings of the others. This name (catholic) was not a separate sect within the ecumenical community, but the final word on what was truth. Unfortunately, even this was corrupted by man for political and financial gain, until the Lutheran Reformation caused another division in the church. It would almost seem that church unity was destined to fail from the beginning. The farther we have gotten from the source (date and individuals directly responsible for the scriptures) the more confusing the message has become to those we are trying to reach. And where does this leave us?
Maybe it is time to get back to the basics. Back to the simplicity of the three questions asked of all who were baptized in the early church:
Do you believe that God is the Father Almighty?
Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit, who was crucified, and died, and rose again on the third day, living from among the dead, who ascended unto heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the quick and the dead?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the resurrection of the flesh?
These are the questions that need to be answered for the unbeliever. These are the answers that they must come to terms with. This is the basis of our faith. If we cannot answer these questions ourselves, how can we ever expect anyone to make a decision? Yes, there are a lot of other teachings in the Word of God. There are guidelines for healthy and productive living. There are guidelines for financial and relationship management. All of these teachings are helpful in daily life, but some teachers get so caught up in the side issues that they forget about the basics.  It all comes down to these three questions in one. Do you believe in God the Father, Jesus the Son of God and the reality of the Holy Spirit?
1Corinthians 1: 20 – 25
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
© Simply Consider This, 2014.


This has probably been one of the hardest pieces for me to get done.  I had all of the research done, pretty much knew what I wanted to say, and have sat at my desk several times to write it. I just couldn’t get motivated.  It seemed that I was lacking in the subject  matter.  I had no resolve.

That seems to be what happens to most of us many times.  We have the desire to do something, or to stop doing it, but we just never seem to start the process.  We figure out how to solve the problem.  We break it down into parts that are easy to manage and we try to rationalize each individual aspect of the situation. That is one definition of resolve.

We give it a lot of, “if only,” and “when,” to justify our lack of determination, then continue down the same path until we forget about it, or at least push it to the back of our minds. Then, one day, we realize that we never took any action and the whole process starts all over again.  We have to re-solve the problem that should have been solved long ago.  That is another definition of resolve.

The most common usage of resolve is to make a firm decision and commit to it.  Sometimes this is the most difficult of all.  Whether it is to lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with our kids, read the Bible and pray every day, or just try to be more positive, we can find a million and one reasons not to make the change.  We can make the determination without ever having to make the choice.  “One of these days, I’m going to,” just seems to be a catch phrase and the “New Years’ Resolution” soon becomes the Next Year resolution.

In the book of Malachi, God speaks very plainly about resolve.  It isn’t just about tithing, as in chapter 3, in chapter 2 it is about the priests accepting sacrifices which are not acceptable to God:

Malachi 2:2
“If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.”

The people were bringing sacrifices that were clearly unacceptable and the priests were using them as if they were.  The people knew better and,  even more, the priests knew better.   They knew the difference and said nothing.  God told them that if they did not make a firm decision and commitment to honor His name they would be cursed.  In fact, they were already cursed for their actions.

So what has this to do with us today?

Are we not called to be Kings and Priests?  Since the priests of the Old Testament are a type and shadow of what we are to be today, then we should resolve to honor His name as well.  We should let our “Yes,” be Yes and our “No,” be No.  When we have resolved to do, or not to do, something because we know it is right, we should not hesitate.

We will.  We are still human.  We may have His Spirit living in us, but our humanity will always be weak.  That is when we must pray for Grace.
Three or four over quoted scriptures come to mind:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
“With men this impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The decision is still up to you.  You have to resolve in your heart.  You have to believe in your head.  Then know that you will not have to do it alone. You still have to take the action, but it is all right to ask for help.  Help from your spouse, your friends,  your brothers and sisters in Christ, but mostly, ask for help from God.  If Jesus did not have the resolve to carry out God’s plan to completion, there would be no reason for any of us to believe that the Bible is any more than a historical account of the Jews.

It is finished.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.    


The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

This post may seem like it borders on the political.  It is not.  It is a call to prayer.  It is a  call to action.  It is a call to the Church to be prepared for the days to come.  It is a call to all people calling themselves Christians to stand up and DEMAND that they be heard.
The United States is heading for a fall similar to that of the Roman Empire. This is not a new statement, nor is it any prophetic revelation on my part. It is just a simple fact. As we watch our country’s leadership fight over the economy, LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transvestite)  rights, abortion, gun control, military and financial support of other countries, and dozens of other issues that “plague” our nation today, one thing is never discussed in the media.  That is the subject of religious freedom.
Religious freedom is the main reason that the Puritans left England, went to the Netherlands, and finally came to this country.  They were looking for more radical changes in the Church of England than was accomplished through the English Reformation.  Like the Pilgrims, as Protestants, they wanted to be free to worship in the manner of their choosing and not be forced to owe their allegiance to, and follow the practices of the Church of England.  Is it not strange that, nearly five hundred years later, their freedom of religion has been replaced by the freedom from religion?
You might say, “There isn’t any persecution of the church in THIS country.  We are free to worship however we choose and. oddly enough, anything we choose.  It is our choice how, and whom, we worship and the government can’t take that away.”  WAKE UP!!!
As the baby boomers get older and die off, so do the moral values of  that generation and the generations before.  There is still a remnant of believers from teen to middle age, brought up by those dear Saints of God. but they are vastly outnumbered by the up and coming agnostics and those who profess to be atheists.  Why do you suppose that is the case?  Tolerance.
Those who lay waste the ideals and values of Christianity are the very same who claim that Christians are intolerant, bigoted, selfish people who think that their way is the only way to live.  They feel that Christians want to push their beliefs on others just to add to their numbers.  If they are unsure of what they believe, as with agnostics, those Christians will stop at nothing to convince them that their own beliefs are flawed.  Most serious Christians will stand up for their beliefs and defend them to the death, or will they in the U.S.
We have stood idly by and watched as prayer was removed from schools.  In fact, in most cities and small towns today, the Baccalaureate Ceremony held in years past, prior to graduation from high school, has been abolished or must be subsidized by a local church, but can not be sanctioned or required by the school.  This is in direct response to the misguided impression that our Constitution says that there must be separation of Church and State.  There is no such law on the books.  The Constitution says that Congress shall make no law concerning religion (paraphrased).
If that is the case, why would there be any stipulations on a 501(c) 3 organization  if a leader speaks out against the LGBT lifestyle?  If a Pastor stands before his congregation and states Biblical references about how God feels toward ALL immorality, then spells out exactly what that means, especially in regards to LGBT, that Pastor runs the risk of losing the tax exempt status of the church if someone is offended and takes it to court.  The reasoning: Sexual orientation is protected by the Federal Government and can not be disputed. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)
If this were not the case, why did the Pastor who was asked to give the invocation at the recent inaugural decline, when it was learned that he had once, twenty years prior, spoken the Biblical truth about homosexuality.  Now, it seems, that nearly every television program you watch on the four major networks, either has LGBT characters, or some sexual reference, either outwardly presented or embedded within.  Homosexuality has been with us since nearly the beginning, but now it is presented as The New Normal.  I DO NOT hate, or even dislike, those in the LGBT community.  I have my own sin to deal with.  God loves the sinner, but not the sin.  This is not about LGBT rights, it is about sexual immorality, which we are to TOLERATE because it is the way the world is leaning.
We, as Christians, stand by and watch our society deteriorate. We are to be a “peculiar people,” set apart from the world.  If we are continually bombarded with the world telling us that we are the intolerant ones, soon we start to believe it. We back down on our principles and beliefs. We start to tolerate more and more of the ideals of the world around us and try to incorporate them into our theology.  The more we twist the Word to suit the world’s needs, the more twisted it becomes, until we don’t even know what we believe any more.  Then the Truth we were once grounded in becomes shallow and meaningless. The world has won.  Another agnostic is formed.
So, what can we do to “change the world?”  Of course, pray.  Pray like there is no tomorrow, for there may not be one.  Stand up for what you believe.  People all over the world are being persecuted and killed DAILY for their Christian beliefs.  It is coming to this country, too.  Be prepared for the soon coming day when our government is no longer led by God.  God-less-ness is on the upswing in the United States.  Anarchy and chaos will follow. Who will be blamed for the problems of the day?  Christians.  Just as Nero had the city set on fire and blamed the Christians for the act.  It will happen here. The government is trying to blame guns for violence as we speak, instead of holding the gun pointer accountable for his actions.
And here is a novel idea: Contact those pollsters who are all saying that Christianity is on the decline and demand a recount.  Demand to be heard. Yes, let us be intolerant when it comes to OUR freedom, while we still have it.
If  anyone is offended by anything I have said, remember that this country was founded on Biblical principles:
The Bible is the most offensive book ever written.  It offends the intellect of the so-called wise. It offends the heart of the hardened criminal.  It offends the soul with a call to repentance.  It points out flaws and gives us hope with wisdom that is hard to accept at times.  All we have to do is to believe and it can lead us to a personal relationship with the Living God.  Accept and live with Him forever, Deny and Perish.  It’s in the Book.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.


alone2Chronicles 33: 31** A little disclaimer here…in this particular time in my life, this verse was brought to my attention for the reason of personal revelation.  I do realize this verse can mean different things and can be used other than this explanation.**

I love the Old Testament.  It gives us so many lessons in humanity.  It also shows us the goodness, mercy, tenderness, anger, judgment and the very heart of God toward His creation.

I was reading in 2Chronicles 33 about Hezekiah, who was a righteous king, and toward the end of his reign there was a passage that jumped out at me.
Ever have that happen?  You will just be reading along, and WHAM,  a verse jumps out at you.  There is usually a reason for that, by the way.  It is to get your attention, to teach you…it’s like the Holy Spirit saying WHOA..I want to you pay attention.  Stop and think about this….and so I did.

The verse was 2Chronicles 33:31
“And so in the matter of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon who were sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God left him (Hezekiah) to himself to try him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”

Just before that verse it states, “And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.”   So he was doing pretty good, this Hezekiah fellow was.  Pretty good.  So good in fact that there were ambassadors from other countries who came to check it out.  And Hezekiah showed them everything.  Not particularly smart on his part, according to Isaiah, and He told him about it, too.  Anyway, the thing that impressed me was the last part of the verse…..God left him (Hezekiah) to himself to try him, that he might know all that was in his (Hezekiah’s) heart.

Hmm…so God tried him?  Interesting.  Do you think it was so God would know what was in Hezekiah’s heart?  To figure out what he might do placed in this situation?  God knows the end from the beginning…so I don’t think it was to enlighten God on the character of Hezekiah, or to find out exactly what was in his heart.   God already knew that.  So why would God take a step back, so to speak?  Why would He leave him to himself?

As I was thinking about this passage, there was a reason the Holy Spirit had me at a “WHOA, camp here a moment,” moment.  It was because for several days, weeks I had been feeling disconnected so to speak.  Odd, a hard feeling to explain.  Not that I had left my beliefs, strayed away from God, or anything like that.  It just seemed that there was no connection.   My faith was still in my Savior, I hadn’t gone away from Jesus…it seems He was gone from me.

Now, I hear people say. “If you can’t feel God then it must be your fault.  Because God never leaves us…so you must be the one that moved.”  Well….I have a problem with that statement.  And here is the reason why.  God left Job…oh yes He did.  Job was never out of God’s sight, but He did leave him alone to find out what he was made of….and what was in his heart.  Just like He did with Hezekiah.  And God will do the same with us.  As He did with me.  I never left God’s sight, but God did back away – to let me see what was in my heart, and what would I do in this time of not “feeling” God’s closeness.  Would I chose to trust in Him, would I chose to believe in His Word?  Would I continue to be faithful and walk in His ways…even though I couldn’t “feel” His presence?  God left me to myself.

I learned some things in that place….not that I ever want to be there again.  It was really yucky…and I, at one point, was quite whiny…and then the Holy Spirit showed me this passage of scripture.  And it clicked.  “OH,” I said to myself….oh, indeed.  The eyes of my understanding were  enlightened.  It was there in that place that my heart was revealed to me…so I would know all of what was in it.  Some times we may think we got it all goin’ on.  Nothing wrong with me, I’m lovin’ on Jesus, reading my Bible, singin’ my little come to Jesus choruses….but.  With all that, what we really need to know is; what is all that is in our heart?  Caught up in doing all the right things, praying all the right things….going through the motions.  What is all that is in our hearts?
And God will leave us to our selves to find that out.

It is a real “eye” opener.  I had some things there, not gonna lie.  Some I needed to give over to God, some I needed to ask forgiveness for, some things I didn’t even realized.  All because God left me to myself to know all that is in my heart.  There will be times when God will leave you to yourself. You will never be out of His sight, but He will leave you to yourself.  Just like a parent who will watch over a child to see how they will figure something out, how they will react or not in a particular situation….how much they have learned.  Never out of sight, just stepping back to watch and see if the practical application of knowledge takes over.  Or to let the child find out that there are still some things that the parent needs to teach them…even though the child may think he knows it and has it all under control.

God does that to us…well, maybe not to you.  But He did to me, and you know what? Even though it was a difficult, unpleasant time to walk through…I pray Father, if that is what it takes to show me what is in my heart, if that’s what it takes to make me more like You.  Show me my heart and all that is within it.

So I can say as David did,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right, persevering,
and steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10


Everyone likes to compare their muscles to Jam...

God wants us to be the best we can be.  He has given us His word on it. In fact, it is through His word and the Holy Spirit that we can be what He wants us to be. And what He wants us to be is the best example to others that we possibly can, so that through our example, others will want to know more about Him.
There is a lot of pop-culture psychology out there.  We have had Montel, Oprah and Jerry, not to mention Dr. Phil.  We can fix just about anything about ourselves- from a bad relationship with a dysfunctional family, to bad health, upgrade in lifestyle, to making amends with a dead loved one– just by watching TV in the afternoon.  If that isn’t enough, we can stay up late and learn how, for a fee, to change our hair amount, muscle tone, attitude, income level and lifestyle.  We can take it off or put it on.  Make it better or shrink it. Add income or decrease our interest rates.  We can learn how to sleep better and find out why we feel like sleeping all the time.  In other words, if we turn on the TV day or night, we can solve all our problems for 4, no wait, only 3 easy payments of 39.95.
All of these things are out there promising a better life or to make you feel better about yourself.  There is nothing wrong with building your body or trying to increase your income.  But after it is all said and done, are you really any happier?
Our society has been training people for years to believe that they must think and believe what everyone else believes, or thinks, or does, in order to be accepted.  Self esteem has over ridden moral values.  Self service has replaced self sacrifice. We must do what feels good and be proud to be whom, or what we have become.  After all, we are the greatest people who ever walked upright and connected words into sentences.  We are amazing.  If we don’t believe that about ourselves, we can buy some program and learn how to believe it.
One thing missing in all of the pop-psychology hoop-lah is God. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in what we do as long as the pride we display does not give way to arrogance.
James 4:1-3:  “What causes quarrels among you?  Don’t you know they come from desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.  You Quarrel and fight.  You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you do ask, you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Throughout history this has been the case.  Man is always trying to be better, faster, stronger, mightier than the gods, and all they had to do was look to the Word to find what this will lead to.  “Let’s build a tower and be as great as God.”  That only led to confusion and chaos.
I’m not saying that no one should try to improve themselves.  We can all be better in some way or another. But let us remember our source and our strength lies in our creator.  If we try to do it all on our own then we are our own creator–along with whatever self-help source we use.  If we rely on God, Yehovah, Adonai, Elohim, to help us, then recognize and appreciate all he has given us and done for us, it will make the “problems” of hair loss and belly fat seem a little less important.  He already paid the price in one anguishing payment and we don’t even have to pay shipping and handling.